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Tag Archives: Jess Keller

Upcoming Books, News, and Pizza

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Small-Town Girl

A little over a week ago I was given the final cover art for my next Love InspirSmall-Town Girl Fronted release! Isn’t is gorgeous? I love that Lake Michigan got a place of honor on the cover. Small-Town Girl releases in August (although Amazon says it’ll send it your way in by mid-July!).

Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

Goose Harbor, Michigan, is the perfect place for Kendall Mayes to start over and open her date-planning business. When she encounters handsome loner Brice Daniels, who is struggling to keep the shipping business he runs going, she sees an opportunity. A weekly sunset cruise catering to couples and tourists will keep their dealings strictly business. Kendall has had enough of failed romances, and Brice is too burned by love to give it another chance. But despite their reservations, they soon let down their walls. Yet when Kendall’s silent business partner is revealed to be Brice’s longtime enemy, staying together might be next to impossible.

The Ranger’s Texas Proposal

Last year I got a call from my editor asking if I had any interest in writing a book in a series of six books with five other authors. I said yes immediately before I realized that five of the six authors writing for this series all had “best-seller” attached to their name. Guess who was the odd man out? Yup. Talk about intimidating! But the other authors were a dream to work with and I learned so much from them.

These books will release in back-to-back months for six months and mine is the second book (coming out in November). The difference in writing The Ranger’s Texas Proposal (as opposed to my Goose Harbor books) is that my publishing house came up with the general plot and character sketches and then I wrote and fleshed it out. I *loved* the process and I adore the story that came out of all of this. Texas Ranger Heath Grayson really worked his way into my heart and his struggles hit me hard (not ashamed to admit there was a lot of at-my-desk-crying happening while writing this one). I’ve been told by my publishing house that the story got three editors crying at their desks over the book/characters – so that’s fun! I’ve never done that before.

I don’t have a cover yet, but I will share it the second I do. However, the preorder is up on Amazon and here’s the blurb:

When Texas Ranger Heath Grayson agrees to investigate thefts at the boys ranch, he’s also hoping to solve a decades-old murder case: his father’s. Getting involved with pretty, pregnant widow and boys ranch volunteer Josie Markham is not on Heath’s agenda. But the more time he spends with Josie, the harder it is to ignore their growing attraction. The somber ranger is convinced a wife and child are not in his future. But with a little help from the boys at the ranch, he may just realize a family is what he needs most of all.

More Goose Harbor

The fifth book in the Goose Harbor series has a name and release date: Apple Orchard Bride is Jenna and Toby’s story (we’ve meet Jenna in many of the other books) and it’ll hit stores January 2017.

I’m currently writing the sixth book in the series RIGHT NOW! And there are solid plans for more Goose Harbor books after that.

More News

I’ve been getting a lot of emails and PMs asking when to expect the final TimeShifters book. I’m always so appreciative when people reach out to me – especially about Gabby and Michael. Those two and the TimeShifters series are all very close to my heart and I think about them often. I would love to continue their story, but at present I’m contracted to write several other books for my publisher and can’t devote enough time to my independent projects. Book three (Reaching Tomorrow) is completely plotted – I just need to find a gap of time to write it in. Like my Amazon Author Page or follow this blog or subscribe to my newsletter for updates on when Reaching Tomorrow will become available.

Last but not least I’m sitting on some very exciting news about a few projects that I’m working on with a team of other authors that amounts to at least two more releases before the end of 2016. I can’t share the details yet … but stay tuned!

I’m sorry there was no pizza in this post. I just felt like the title needed a little something else and pizza did it.

Updates and a Giveaway

Happy Tax Day everyone! Hopefully your paperwork is in the mail and you can now enjoy all the free tax day promos. While we’re at it, I wanted to share a few freebies and updates with you too.

  • First of all I have some good news. I’ve been asked to be a regular contributor to the blog The Write Conversation and couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity. Author friend Charity Tinnin and I will be sharing the Indie Tuesday slot and if your interested in writing at all, we’d love if you stopped by and talked with us on Tuesdays.

The Write Conversation : Indie Tuesday—Are You Ready to Self-Publish?: by Jessica Keller @AuthorKeller Frantic heart palpitations. Occasional bouts of hyperventilation. Random sweating coupled with a coffee…

 

  • I’ve started a newsletter list and would love if you would join. It’s the best way to keep up on my latest releases and upcoming books. My newsletter subscribers will see cover reveals first, hear about sales and giveaways before anyone else, receive free book content not available to others, and prizes for subscribers only. What won’t you get by signing up? Easy. You’ll never be spammed and will never receive more than two newsletters a month (and more often just one). Scouts honor. You can subscribe to the newsletter right one my website.

 

  • Right now I’m running a giveaway on Goodreads. There are three signed copies of Saving Yesterday up for grabs, so if you’re a Goodreads member make sure to sign up. If you don’t want to wait until the end of the month to see if you win the Goodreads giveaway then the great news is the kindle ebook of Saving Yesterday is on sale right now for only $2.99. That’s less than a cup of coffee folks and it last a lot longer. 🙂

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Saving Yesterday by Jessica  Keller

Saving Yesterday

by Jessica Keller

Giveaway ends April 30, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

  • Last but not least I wanted to share a song with you that’s offered a lot of encouragement to me as I’ve faced some hard things lately. I hope you enjoy it. Have a wonderful week dear friends!

 

Original Chapter One – Part Three

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The last installment of the original chapter one of Home for Good.  (If you missed the start earlier in the week press here) Enjoy!

Original Chapter One – Home for Good – Part Three

Ali wrung her hands. “A tenth of a second…a tenth of a second.”

Almost. But not quite good enough.

Story of her life.

“You were robbed, Mom.” Chance burst to his feet beside her, his small hand gesturing toward the score board.

Third place. Ali shrugged, but the failure smarted. After replaying the run in her mind twice, she still couldn’t find the misstep that cost them first and second. She wouldn’t thumb her nose at the five hundred dollar prize, but the winner’s purse would have helped more. Two thousand dollars could have paid for a decent farrier and more oats. She let out a long, hot breath. Or gone toward the insurance deductibles. Or new tack…new horses…debt. Something always needed to be paid for.

Never quite good enough. Never quite…enough, for anyone.

“Naw, I lost fair and square, buddy.”

Kate tucked long auburn strands of hair behind her ear. “You made a good run, Al. You and Denny were dynamite out there. The entire crowd was on edge.” She bent, scooping up their small blue cooler full of pop and juice. “We’ll find a way to save Big Sky Dreams. Don’t worry about the future so much.”

“Easy for you to say, seeing as you have nothing to do with my non-profit and no personal effort invested.” The moment Ali solved one issue at Big Sky Dreams, the handicapped horseback riding program she managed, an even bigger problem usually surfaced.

Catching Chance’s hands, lathered with butter and prickly popcorn salt, Ali followed behind her younger sister. At twenty-four, Kate returned home from college a year ago with a degree and a non-stop positive outlook on life. Moreover, she possessed the annoying knack of saying exactly what Ali didn’t want to hear.

“I’m just saying. If God wants Big Sky Dreams to survive, the program will survive.”

Ali rolled her eyes. “Riiiight. Words to live by, I’m sure. But I think the best bet is to bust my back for donations and sign up for every barrel tournament with a purse from here clear to Idaho. I just don’t get where all our money goes. There seemed to be plenty after the last fund-raiser, but the money’s just gone.”  She didn’t want to stomp on her sister’s happy little world, but Ali knew better. God helped those who helped themselves. Because, seriously, when setbacks in life came, God didn’t care. Until she saw him on earth attempting to make a difference with his own two hands, she wouldn’t trust him for anything. Sure, she wanted to believe. Everyone wanted someone to put their hope in. But Ali learned the hard way—hope placed in the wrong thing—or person—left her feeling worse than Chance with a 102 degree temperature.

Ali pointed toward the animal pens. “I’m gonna get Denny. Meet me by the trailer?”

“Sure, and I’ll take scamp here with me.” Kate patted Chance’s head.

“Heeey. I’m not a scamp. Is that a good thing? Mom, what’s a scamp?”

“A nickname like that is a good thing, bud. Means you like to play.” She picked her way across the street then called over her shoulder. “Thanks, Kate.”

Denny nickered as she approached, his black glassy eyes surveying her with what felt like understanding.

“Hey, there, boy. You did good today. I’m the one who botched our run.” She reached out, tracing her fingers down his velvety black muzzle as she unlatched the gate. When Ali slipped the green halter over his head, Denny leaned into her like a hug. She gave him a pat on the neck for thanks.

“We’ll help those kids. We’ll figure out some way.” Bending over, she gathered up most of the brushes. She dumped them all into a bucket then tossed the horse blanket and saddle on Denny’s back, letting the cinch hang loose. She’d just lead him gingerly to the trailer and hope his gear stayed on, which sounded loads better than making two trips.

“Hiya, Ali.”

The voice from her past rocketed through her with the force of a kick drum. The last curry comb flew out of her hand and spun in a drunken arc on the hard dirt. She snapped up and took a step backward.

Jericho Freed.

All six feet of him, clad in jeans and a fitted grey striped button-down. His bold, masculine eyebrows rose as he surveyed her with look-me-in-the-eyes-if-you-dare blues. He wore a straw cowboy hat with unruly hair poking out, and four days-worth of a beard outlined his firm jaw. His defined arms looped over the front of the gate, blocking her path out. Eight years later and the man still made her mouth go dry.

And she hated that he still had that power.

So she did the only rational thing she could think to do. Flee.

In a fluid movement, Ali bounded over the back of the pen and took off sprinting at a breakneck clip. Her hat flew off.

He yelled out her name, called out….

And just like in the past, his voice poured sweet and velvety like chocolate over each syllable, making her toes curl. Ali’s nails dug into her palms. She didn’t want to hear him. She never wanted to fall under his spell again. Tears gathered at the corners of her eyes as she ran.

Why was he here? Why couldn’t he leave well enough alone?

Tearing across the carnival, she pushed past people as they threw her angry looks. Forget them. They didn’t know the danger engulfing her. Didn’t know evil incarnate might be ten paces behind, literarily nipping at her heels.

Oh, why hadn’t she moved away when she had the…chance? Chance! Suddenly she pounded faster, the narrow toe of her boots chafing against her feet.

Jericho couldn’t see Chance. She wouldn’t let that happen. God, please!

Ali zeroed in on Chance and Kate milling next to their beat up green Ford pick-up.

She waved her arms. “Quick, get in the truck. Quick. Now! Chance Silver!”

“Where’s Denny? Aren’t—”

“No. Truck. Now. We’ll come back for him later.” Ali pressed a hand to the stitch in her side as she looked over her shoulder, scanning the crowd for the cowboy with impossibly blue eyes. He hadn’t followed her.

Kate rounded the truck, her eyes wide. “Sis? I don’t see smoke coming from your hair, so if it’s not on fire—what is?”

Ali glanced in the truck, making sure Chance was buckled in and out of earshot. She seized Kate’s arms, clamping down on reality as she felt a vine of anger seeded by fear reach up inside of her.

“He’s here. He’s back. What am I supposed to…what if he…what about Chance?” Her voice rose in a frenzy.

Kate shook her gently. “Who’s here?”

“My husband.”

The End of Original Chapter One

___________________

Jess

Where Are You?

Today I guest blogged at Seekerville! Stop by and join the conversation 🙂

____________

Jess

Original Chapter One – Part Two

Yesterday I talked about how sometimes when your manuscript gets in front of your editor big sections get cut. So I’m sharing the original first chapter of Home for Good. If you missed the first chunk just press here. Part three will go live on Friday.

Original Chapter One – Home for Good – Part Two

Jericho Freed’s gut clenched. Even from the distance of the bleachers, the sight of little Ali Silver made his heart stampede like a fired up bull. Guess she wasn’t so little anymore. Eight years. He did the math as he passed his hand over his jaw. Well, twenty-seven sure looked good on her. From where he watched, the pink long-sleeved button-down brought out the summer blush of her cheeks, and those leg-huggin’ jeans verified she wasn’t a girl anymore. Fully woman. The woman he’d come home for.

“Why, if it isn’t young Mr. Freed.” Jericho’s sophomore year science teacher, Mrs. Casey, tapped his shoulder. She still wore the purple framed glasses around her neck with a string. “I didn’t think you lived in these parts anymore.”

He touched the front of his hat. “Well, Ma’am, I’ve been away awhile but I’m home now. For good.”

“I was so sorry to hear about your father. How is Abram doing?”

“Thanks for that, Mrs. Casey. He’s just down the road at Valley View Estates. They’re telling me the stroke left Pop without the use of his right side. Got in last night myself so I haven’t made time to see him yet.” Not that he was in any spit-storm rush to go see his father, but Mrs. Casey didn’t need to know that.

Jericho shifted on the bleacher, scanning the stands for Ali. Down the way, he spotted her kid sister Kate sitting with a cute little boy, but no Ali. He pulled off his straw hat, crushed it in his calloused hands then watched as the straw popped back into shape, like a sponge.

Had she seen him? Was she avoiding him? Could he blame her? Nope.

“Is that what brought you home, son?” Mrs. Casey slipped on her glasses and peered at him from over the top of them.

Jericho squirmed. He felt like a fifteen year old again, struggling to remember the chemical formula for salt. “For Pop? Sure. And I completed my tour of duty. And there’s some other…stuff.” A lump formed in the back of his throat as Ali climbed the steps and sauntered towards Kate and the child. She ruffed the boy’s hair. Jericho swallowed hard.

Mrs. Casey raised her eyebrows. “Whatever happened with you and her?”

“Me and Ali?”  He rubbed his clammy palms on the thighs of his jeans.

“In school, why, you two were a matched set. I don’t remember ever seeing one of you without the other around town neither. Then I heard…. Well, listen to me go on about other people’s business.”

I happened.

“Matched set?” He mumbled more to himself than to her.

“Well, whatever you’re here for, I wish you luck, Jericho.”

He lifted his chin. “Thanks. I’ll need a good dose of luck.”

She patted his shoulder again. “You’ll be fine. If I remember right, there isn’t an ounce of quit in your bones.”

Ha. If only Mrs. Casey knew. ‘Cause there was a pretty lady with hair like bottled fire on the other end of the stands that would say ‘quit’ was his middle name.

*          *          *

_______________________________

Jess

When it all becomes real

Last spring, I signed my first novel-length contract with Love Inspired. Soon after that, I had to dive into edits for them which was followed by more edits and reviews and more edits and reviews.

After that, there were months of waiting. Did they like it? Was this for real?

Then today an email fluttered into my inbox that stopped me dead in my tracks: My cover art!

That’s when it all became real. Soon, very soon, there will be a book in my hands with my name on it. Not a book I share with anyone else like I have in my prior publications–this one is all mine.

Many authors talk about either loving or hating their cover art. See, as an author you don’t get much say as to what will be on your cover. I have author friends who have covers with characters on them that have the wrong hair and eye color. Wrong age. Or a scene that never occurs in the book.

So my hand hovered over the mouse. Should I look at my cover? Um, yes, absolutely!

And……I’m in love. It’s beautiful. The art department at Love Inspired hit this design out of the ball park! The house is exactly as I imagined down to the steps going up to the porch and the wide porch with chairs on the deck. Uncut grass in the fields and horses (the right color horses mind you!) in the pasture. The Bitterroot Mountians rising in the background are stunning and hopeful. And the colors take my breath away. I want to move there…today. That, and I want to know how those artists got into my head?!

So here it is friends. The cover we’ve been dreaming about since last April.

What do you think???

Here’s the awesome backcover copy that the team at Love Inspired wrote:

_____________________________________________________

“I made a promise to protect you.”

But pregnant Ali Silver’s husband broke his vow and walked away from her. After being injured in combat, Jericho has finally come home to Bitterroot Valley to make peace with his father and regain Ali’s trust. But the single mom’s keeping secrets of her own. And someone’s killing off Ali’s cattle and sabotaging her horse therapy business. Jericho will do whatever it takes to protect his wife and be a real father to his son. Because when it comes to love and second chances, he’s one determined cowboy.

_____________________________________________________

If that wasn’t enough, I have even more exciting news. Home for Good is now up on Amazon.com for preorder! You can go to Amazon and type in Jessica Keller and it’s the first option that pops up. That or you can click here and you’ll go right to it!

Thank you everyone for celebrating with me! This is truly an amazing day.